Contemporary history, again, was treated in a connected and detailed
manner. Naevius described the first, and Fabius the second war with
Carthage from their own knowledge; Ennius devoted at least thirteen
out of the eighteen books of his Annals to the epoch from Pyrrhus down
to the Istrian war;(62) Cato narrated in the fourth and fifth books
of his historical work the wars from the first Punic war down to that
with Perseus, and in the two last books, which probably were planned
on a different and ampler scale, he related the events of the last
twenty years of his life.
For the Pyrrhic war Ennius may have
employed Timaeus or other Greek authorities; but on the whole
the accounts given were based, partly on personal observation
or communications of eye-witnesses, partly on each other.